The Arabic Communist daily newspaper Al Ittihad and the Hebrew Communist weekly Zo Haderech, published last week a joint statement by the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) which addressed the failure of Likud Chairman and acting PM Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government, and saw this fiasco as a positive development after a decade in which the far right took control of the Israeli government.
According to the released statement, this important development would not have been possible without the quantitative and qualitative political weight of the Joint List and of the Arab population and the progressive Jewish forces in the country. The right-wing bloc of 55 MKs represents a Jewish majority that supports Netanyahu, while the center-left bloc has includes 44 MKs. In other words, the weight of the Arab masses in electing 13 MKs from the Joint List was crucial and decisive in preventing Netanyahu from forming a new government.
In their statement, the CPI and Hadash strongly condemned Netanyahu and the right wing’s racist campaign of incitement, as well as their frantic quest to undermine the Joint List’s political legitimacy and prevent its impact on the fate of the government to be formed. The CPI and Hadash marked with grave concern this incitement, so reminiscent of the incendiary fomenting against former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin because of his reliance on the votes of Arab citizens following his forming of a minority government in 1992, hate-induced rhetoric which culminated in his assassination in 1995.
The CPI and Hadash emphasize that the invitation last week of the Joint List to meetings with Blue & White chair, MK Benny Gantz – now assigned the task of forming a government – is a positive gesture, regardless of its results, and in itself demonstrates that representatives of the Arab population and progressive Jewish forces are a legitimate and influential players in the political and parliamentary arena. The CPI and Hadash call upon all components of the Joint List to maintain the unity of the list and its political alignment in the interest of peace, equality, democracy and social justice, and to distance itself both from being affiliated with Gantz on the one hand, and from the absurdity of self-exclusion on the other.
In a related context, the CPI and Hadash issued a warning about the serious connotations revealed in the report of the Public Committee against Torture in Israel, which exposed the superficial nature of the investigation led by “Mahash” (Israel’s Police Investigation Unit), into the shooting of the Joint List chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), during the demolition of the village of Umm al-Hiran in January 2017. The report showed that Mahash did not investigate the video-recorded laser targeting of the head of Odeh by police officers, as well as other documents and evidence which confirm the purposeful aiming at Odeh by police. The CPI and Hadash hold the police and related civilian authorities responsible for this scandal, and for all that is liable to result from the bloody incitement waged by the right and Netanyahu himself, against comrade Ayman Odeh personally and against all elected MKs of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel.